The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to appear before a joint committee on Justice, Commerce and Information over the ban on Twitter in the country. This was made known through an announcement by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila during a plenary session in which he also set up a committee to look into the recent suspension of Twitter in the country.
The House of Representatives further gave a directive to the Committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the indefinite suspension of Twitter by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Information and Culture. The Speaker gave the Committee ten days to carry out their investigations and then report to the House.
Giving a speech during the plenary session on Tuesday, Femi Gbajabiamila stated that,
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“The House of Representatives recognizes that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success.
The House also recognizes that as social media has been a tool for good, it can also be a tool for bad actors. As such, the government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that these platforms are not used to commit vile actions against individuals and the State”.
He further stated that, the proper role of the legislature in circumstances was first to peel back the layers of the decision-making process to unravel the issues until it developed an understanding of the why and the how of executive decisions.
The federal government of Nigeria on Saturday banned the micro-blogging platform in the country two days after the President’s “controversial” tweet was deleted for violating one of the platform’s rules.